Awakened Voices is an online literary magazine with a mission to “make visible the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence” currently open for fiction, hybrid, poetry, memoir, or visual art. See my interview with Creative Director Jeri Frederickson and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Awakened Voices.
FREDERICKSON: We publish twice a year in prose, poetry, visual, and hybrid. Our mission is to support the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. We are open to submissions from people who do not identify as survivors – perhaps a loved one, social worker, etc. – as long as the writing is engaging with the subject matter of “what is the conversation we need to have as a community about sexual violence”, then we want to read your work!
We are highly focused in our subject matter, and this focus allows us to approach reading and editing work with great care and empathy. We hope that Awakened Voices as a part of Awakenings is a brave space for survivors and allies to continue the current conversation around sexual violence. We read all our submissions thoroughly. Writing about sexual violence and trauma can be extremely personal, so we treat our submissions with great care. We value all our submissions and are proud to witness each story we receive. Even if a piece might not be right for us at a certain time, we give it as much time and attention as we are able.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Awakened Voices originally started?
FREDERICKSON: Awakened Voices was born as a branch of our parent organization, Awakenings. Since 2010, Awakenings has been a home to multi-media programming including an art gallery. By showcasing stories of survival, we are helping survivors, allies, and advocates find peace while simultaneously challenging the cultural taboos that prevent an honest discussion of sexual violence.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
FREDERICKSON: Anyone who wants to engage in a community of healing and stories of survival.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
FREDERICKSON: Your best work! Okay, more specifically, we tend to lean in for works that include reflecting, reclaiming, reimagining, or in some way processing some of the immediacy of violence. In other words, we tend to lean away from pieces that simply place the reader in a graphic moment of violence or danger. We do acknowledge healing looks different for everyone. A piece does not need to be hopeful or particularly uplifting, however, we do ask you to consider the impact of your piece on potential readers who may be fellow survivors, allies, and advocates.
All of this is what we tend to; you are welcome to show us something that we probably don’t see often! Show us through fiction, creative nonfiction, comics, visual art, or poetry (or a mix of genres!) the conversation all of us want and need to engage with around sexual violence.
I would be remiss not to include this from our amazing volunteer reviewers: we encourage writers to proofread their work or have someone proofread their work before sending to us.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
FREDERICKSON: We’d love to see more hybrid and genre fiction, but with that, feel free to send us whatever is your best work!
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
FREDERICKSON: Persephone’s Daughters, Lunch Ticket, Guernica Magazine, Rise Up Review, Barren Magazine, Solstice, The Rumpus, Adroit journal, Winter Tangerine
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Awakened Voices?
FREDERICKSON: I get to read amazing work and meet new writers! Also, my understanding frequently grows around important life values like: what does healing through art actually mean, how can I be a better artist in the world, how do art and this community care for each other? It’s an incredibly joyful part of being on staff.
HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
DEADLINE: January 31, 2021
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: fiction, hybrid, poetry, memoir, or visual art
FORMAT: online and PDF
ISSUE FREQUENCY: 2 times a year
AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME: 3-5 months
SUBMISSION METHOD: Submittable, but if anyone has trouble with Submittable, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: Yes
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